Halloween Happenings 2023! - Updated with even more!

The only thing to fear is the fear of missing out!

By Debra Flanagan, Macaroni KID Chicago Northside October 10, 2023

Is it just me, or do you also enjoy Halloween now, as a parent, more than you ever did as a kid?  

I can't get enough of the decor, the costumes, the spooky-themed food, and all the fun events. This year, I am especially happy to see that my teens aren't out-growing any of it anytime soon either. Since October 1, my sixteen year old has laid out her outfits for the next 30 days, and they are all combinations of orange and black. Whenever I catch her with her ear pods in, she is listening to Halloween movie soundtracks. Her room is decorated in cobwebs, (beyond the ones that were already there), and pumpkin lighting. This is going to be another fun year!  

The events we have always loved pre-pandemic are back, the innovative events created during the pandemic are returning, and even some new events are popping up. This may be the best year yet.

Stay tuned to Macaroni KID Chicago Northside, as we will keep you posted on all things sweet, and creepy, this season.  Follow us on Facebook too, to ensure you don't miss a thing.


October 28 @ 12pm-3pm
Kids are welcomed to trick-or-treat at the businesses along Catalpa.There is also a pumpkin scavenger hunt all month long.
Cost: Free


Being Bilingual Rocks - Family Concert Series - Day of the Dead Bash!
October 29 @ 10:30am-11:30am
Cost: $20

Friends of Jahn Pumpkin Patch
October 14 @ 10am-2pm

We are thrilled to be welcoming our community back to the Jahn Pumpkin Patch this year! Join us for pumpkin sales and decorating, food vendors, train rides, music, games, and more.
Cost: $10/person, $25/family

Great Halloween Boo-tacular at the Center on Halsted
October 21 @ 2pm-5pm
Halloween games, arts & crafts, spooky drag story time, and more! Come in a costume to be entered in a raffle! Fall fun for LGBTQ+ families with children ages 0-11!
Cost: Free

Halloween Pumpkin Patch at The Reveler
October 28 @ 1pm-5pm
Fun and games for the whole family, pumpkin decorating, trick or treating, and a special kids menu and drinks.

Hamilton Boo Bash
October 21 @ 2pm-5pm
Join us for a full day of fun activities, including a kid-friendly haunted house, a spooky haunted house created by our middle schoolers, a magic show, costume parade, carnival games, arts and crafts, spooky prizes, music, food for purchase, and so much more!
Cost: TBD

Hamlin Park Pumpkin Patch
October 21 @ 10am-2pm
At the Chicago Park District's pumpkin patches, you get to pick your personal favorite from a field filled with pumpkins and personalize it at the pumpkin decorating station. Enjoy Halloween-themed carnival games, inflatables, and don't forget to bring a camera to capture a family memory at our harvest photo station. Plus, the kiddos will experience a visit from JG Reptile.
Cost: $5

Haunted Halsted Halloween Parade
October 31 @ 6:30pm-10:00pm
Join us for the 26th annual Haunted Halsted Halloween Parade, October 31st, 2023. The free parade is a spectacle of sights, frights & spooky mayhem concluding with an Awards Show, live performance & dance party.
Cost: Free

Lakeview YMCA Halloween Party
October 20 @ 6pm-8pm
Come enjoy a haunted house, games, treats, crafts, a bounce house and more. Open to the public.
Cost: Free

Little Monsters Crawl
October 29 @ 12pm-3pm
Here’s the scoop: the little ghouls and goblins will embark on a thrilling trick or tread adventure, strolling through the neighbourhood in their finest costumes. Local businesses will set up stations with various treats for both kids and parents. We will also have 4 pop up tents across the neighbourhood where you’ll find your kids favourite cartoon costume characters and entertainers ready to spread Halloween joy! They’ll be on hand to greet the kids, hand out candy, and create magical moments that will make this Halloween unforgettable. So, mark your calendars for a day of family fun and fantastic costumes and make sure to stop into local businesses, fill your candy bag, and enjoy a safe and tasty trick-or-treating adventure! Don’t miss out on this fang-tastic neighborhood treat!
Cost: Free

Movies at Gallagher Way
October 11 @ 7pm: Goonies
October 18 @ 7pm:  The Nightmare Before Christmas
Movies at Gallagher Way is part of Gallagher Way’s fall programming series. Gates open at 6pm.
Cost: Free

Pumpkin Party at Gallagher Way!
October 21 @ 1pm-5pm
The Sixth Annual Pumpkin Party is presentedy by Jewel Osco! Old Town School of Folk Music will lead a few folksy and Halloween dance and sing-a-longs, the kiddos can create a paper ghost or clay pumpkins with Kid Create Studio, visit a range of candy stations such as chocolate, sweets, sours, tootsies, lollipops and more to satisfy every type of sweet tooth. There will be free take-home junior pumpkins, balloon artists, a roaming magician, a caricature artist, a unicyclist, and lawn games galore.
Cost: Free

Roscoe Village Halloween Block Party
October 22 12pm-6pm
Save the date for the Roscoe Village Halloween Block Party! Celebrate the season in a safe, outdoor, family-oriented environment on Roscoe. Wear your costume and join for Halloween themed activities, a live DJ, and more! The Roscoe Village Streetery will be open for your food and beverage needs.
Cost: Free

Trick-or-Treat Southport
October 30 @ 4pm-7pm
Trick or Treat on Southport is a free annual community event featuring family-friendly activities, a pumpkin patch, pet parade and trick or treating at local businesses.
Cost: Free

Tubman Elementary Fall Fest: Hallaboolooza
October 14 @ 10am-12pm
Games & Prizes. Costume Parade. Trunk or Treat. Pumpkin Decorating. Dance Party. Costume Swap.
Cost: Free

Lincoln Park

Falloween Fest
October 15 @ 1pm-4pm
Family-friendly fall fun, games, and activities for all to enjoy! Entertainment for all ages with a Halloween-themed twist!
Cost: Free. Some attractions & activities as well as all food & drinks require tickets that can be purchased on the day of the event.

Spooktacular 2023
October 28 and 29 @ 1pm-4pm
Cost: Free

Spooky Zoo
October 21 @ 10am-1pm (or while supplies last)
This year’s event will offer trick-or-treating on zoo grounds and family-friendly entertainment.
Cost: Free

Lincoln Square Ravenswood

Family Halloween Party
October 27 @ 5pm-8pm
Join Fit City Kids for a special Halloween Party. There will be games, prizes, and activities for the whole family.

Fit4Mom Family Halloween Party
October 28 @ 9am-11am
Cost: Free

Lincoln Scared Ravenswoooood
October 29 @ 11am-1pm
Trick-or-Treat with your kids this year in Lincoln Square Ravenswood!  On the Sunday of Halloween the business district transforms into LINCOLN SCARED and RAVENSWoooooD, as children trick-or-treat between participating businesses.
Cost: Free

Redline VR Family Halloween Pop Up (ages 2-10)
October 29 @ 3pm-6pm
Cost: Free

Rogers Park Montessori School Fall Fest
October 21 @ 10am-2pm
Entertainment at Fall Fest will feature live music from School of Rock and a folk song sing-a-long. State Senator Mike Simmons and Representative Hoan Huynh will share spooky stories with children and at 12:00pm children will have an opportunity to participate in a celebratory costume parade. The festival will also feature games, crafts, a balloon artist, and a magician. Food will be provided by Fat Shallot Food Truck. There will also be complimentary popcorn, a caramel apple bar and cookie decorating station.
Cost: Free

Tricks Treats and Tunes
October 31 @ 5pm-7pm
Make the 1700 block of Wilson Avenue a part of your trick or treat route! ACM will have spooky musical performances, $1 coffees and cocoas and treats for the kiddos. Dandelion Art Therapy will have activities and O'Shaughnessy's will have $6 spiked ciders! Plus treats from Fin and more!
Cost: Free

Trunk or Treat at St. Philip Lutheran School
October 27 @ 5:30pm-6:30pm
Join us for our annual Trunk or Treat event! This is a fun and safe way for kids of all ages to trick-or-treat. Trunks will be decorated by members of our church and school community, and kids can go from trunk to trunk to collect candy and other treats.This event is open to the public. All ages are welcome.
Cost: Free

The Loop

Arts in the Dark Halloween Parade
October 21 @ 6:00PM-8:00PM
This is not to be missed! Personally, my favorite parade of all time. The Arts in the Dark Halloween Parade will return to State Street as the finale of the city’s “Halloweek” program! Now in its 9th year, this event has drawn together close to 100,000 guests and participants for a magical evening parade that celebrates Halloween as the “artist’s holiday.” Past participants include world-renowned institutions like the Art Institute of Chicago, celebrated Chicago organizations like Lookingglass Theatre Company, important programs like After School Matters and aspiring artists in every field. It is a dazzling event that delights the audience with unique floats, spectacle puppets and creative performances – all set against the backdrop of historic State Street.
Cost: Free

Boo with Sue at the Field Museum
October 13 @ 5:30pm-9:30pm
Trick-or-treat yourself to a night at the Field Museum! This not-so-scary after hours event will spark curiosity for the entire family. Families with kids ages 2 to 12 will get up close and personal with creepy crawlers, conduct their own owl pellet dissection, explore fascinating exhibits, and learn about specimens in our collection from our team of scientists.
Costumes encouraged!
Cost: $27+

North Center

Graveyard Ghost
Saturdays and Sundays, October 11 - November 5 @ 11am
When a town's cemetery is sold to a developer and plans are made to build over it, strange and spooky things start going on among the graves. Neighbors have reported hearing scary noises, and construction workers claim to see ghastly shadows. Could there really be a graveyard ghost? Or is someone malicious causing mischief? 

Meet the Corny Crew: Cobby, Poppy, and Sparky, a group of meddling kids with a knack for solving mysteries, and CORN-i, their robot pal who's missing a few screws. With help from the audience, the crew digs up dirt on the graveyard and the town and uncovers the truth about the folks who live there. Join them on their eerie encounters, slapstick stakeouts, and candy corn cravings in this mystery comedy for all ages. Audience participation and Halloween costumes encouraged!
Cost: Adults: $15 Kids ages 2-12: $12 

North Center Trick-or-Treat
October 28 @ 10am-1pm
Put on your funniest, spookiest, most creative Halloween costumes and join for a morning of Trick-or-Treating and holiday fun! Stop at Northcenter Town Square, 4100 N Damen Ave, pick up a treat bag and a map before visiting local businesses along Lincoln/Irving/Damen and in Northcenter Town Square, that will be handing out candy and other fun prizes. Be sure to be back at Northcenter Town Square for our annual Costume Contest, featuring prizes for ages 3 and under, 4-9 and 10+ and a GRAND PRIZE for best costumed family! Also enjoy refreshments, the Northcenter Farmers Market and so much more! You don't want to miss this!
Cost: Free

River North

Slightly Spooky Saturday
October 28 @ 12pm-8pm 
Prepare to be spooked and amazed as Navy Pier brings back Slightly Spooky Saturday. Dive headfirst into a cauldron of Halloween fun with an array of thrilling activities for families to enjoy. Join us for a day filled with tricks, treats, and unforgettable moments for everyone.
Trick-or-Treat Bonanza
– Come dressed in your most enchanting costumes and embark on a Trick-or-Treat adventure like no other.
– Explore over 70 candy stations dotted around Navy Pier, generously stocked with sweets from none other than the iconic Ferrara Candy.
Cost: Free

Rogers Park

Chicago Halloweek on the Block
October 26 @ 3:30pm-5:30pm
Come to Roger Sullivan High School for Halloween treats and activities for all ages.
Cost: Free

Family Full Moon Halloween Fest on Jarvis Square
October 28 @ 3pm-8pm
Wear your costumes! This free family event will have: a stilt walker, juggling, drums, face painting, LED “fire” throwing, free smore’s, firepit, & marshmallows, tarot readings ($), Halloween candy hunt.
Cost: Free

Rogers Park Halloween Party
October 28 @ 4pm-6pm
The Halloween party is FREE and open to parents and their kids. Come in costume and take part in face painting, balloon twisting, special glow-in-the-dark arts & crafts, as well as games and entertainment for the whole family (including a magic show and singing hotdog!) This is the one event you won't want to miss! The lineup includes: a magic show at 4 p.m., cookie decorating, "Bob" for apples during Apple Balls, arts and crafts, face painting, a special performance from Mr. John-actor/musician/child-at-heart at 5 p.m., balloon twisting, and more!
Cost: Free


Halloween on the Plaza at Buttercup Park
October 28 @ 11:30am-1:00pm
Decorate a pumpkin and enjoy some treats.
Cost: Free

Trick or Treating in the Sunnyside Mall
October 29 @ 1pm
Trick-or-treating on the Sunnyside Mall! The event starts at 1pm, and then at 2pm we’ll have a special live performance by the amazing children’s entertainer Miss Make Believe, lots of games, activities, and music planned for entertainment. 

Washington Park

Upside Down Halloween Parade
October 28 @ 12pm-2pm
Chicago children and their families will BECOME the parade when they don their costumes and join the procession down tree-lined Russell Drive.  Dance teams, musicians, acrobats, sports mascots and other spectacles will dazzle them as they make their way down the route – and kids will receive a complimentary candy bag and other goodies at the closing arches.  And for those who don’t have a costume, we also will be giving away 2,000 costumes at the opening gates.
Cost: Free


Boo at the Zoo
October 14,15,21, and 22 @ 10:30am-4:00pm
Gather your ghoulfriends, little ghosts, and goblins for this fun-filled family event. Check out the creatures, creepy crawlers, and more in your costumes at the Halloween-themed event that's perfect for family photo ops. All ages are in for a fang-tastic time, and the kids will leave with a sweet treat.
Cost: Included with zoo admission.

Halloween Party at Little Beans
October 29 @ 2pm-4pm and 5pm-7pm
Enjoy an evening of family fun this Halloween at Little Beans! This event will have tons of fun activities like pumpkin painting, trick-or-treating, and snow cones. Food and Drink available for purchase.
Cost: $35 for the first child, $30 for additional children, Up to two adults for free, additional adults $5 each.

Highwood Pumpkin Fest Carnival
October 6-8
HIGHWOOD'S ANNUAL PUMPKIN FEST features 🎠Carnival Rides, Games, 🥨 Food, 🎪Live Music and plenty of 🎃Pumpkins!

Pumpkin Train
October 14, 15, 21, and 22 @ 11am-4pm

Enjoy a ride to the pumpkin patch aboard Halloween-themed electric interurban trains. While at the patch, ask the farm hands to help you find the perfect pumpkin, and pose for pictures in the various colorful, life size cutouts, as well as an antique farm tractor and hay wagon.
Cost: Adults $18, Seniors 16, Children $14

Six Flags Great America Boo Fest
Now through October 29
Explore all your family-favorite coasters and attractions together during Kids Boo Fest! Kids areas are available from 11:00am-5:00pm. Enjoy the family-friendly classic adventure of trick-or-treat in the park! Little goblins can trick-or-treat on Candy Corn Lane from 1:00-3:00pm. From pumpkins to hay bales to scarecrows, enjoy all this season has to offer — with a few special thrills and twists of our own. Camp Boo! activities are available from 11:00am-5:00pm.

Smarty Pants Big Balloon Halloween Show
October 28 @ 10am-11am
Cost: $10 advance/$15 door


Haunted House
October 28 @ 4pm-7pm
It'll be spooky, but not too scary! The second annual School of Rock Andersonville Haunted House will take your breath away! Though it won't be too scary. There will be a costume contest, live music, and more!
Cost: Free


Graceland Ghosts and Secrets
October 21 @ 1pm-4pm
Join the Inter-American Magnet School on an interactive walking tour of Graceland Cemetery and meet some of its most famous residents. The first 250 kid's to sign up get a free kids meal from Raising Cane's. All proceeds benefit Inter-American Magnet School.
Cost: $10 kids/$15 adults

Nightmare on Clark Street
Now through October 31

Get ready to embrace the eerie enchantment of Spooky Season at Nightmare on Clark Street at Bamboo Club! Our patio is transformed into a spine-tingling spectacle, with a hauntingly decorated heated tent that will send shivers down your spine. Children permitted before 6pm only.

Nightmare on Clark Street Haunted House Experience
Now through October 31
Purchase your tickets now and creep it real at the much-loved, immersive and over-the-top haunted house experience at Bamboo Club! Haunted house tickets are for GA entry to the Haunted House Experience ONLY. Purchase your tickets online in advance as tickets at the door may increase in price. All ticket prices are subject to change. Anyone under 18 years of age needs to be accompanied by a paid adult. Children 15 years of age and under will NOT be admitted onto the property for this terrifying adult experience. 
Cost: $19.95+

Saint Luke Academy Creepy Courtyard Trick or Treat
October 31 @ 3:30pm-5:00pm

Games, prizes, and treats. All are welcome.
Cost: Free

Sweet Dreams Halloween
October 13 - October 31
Rizzo's Bar & Inn will be transformed into a Halloween Pop-up! With 20,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, this is the Halloween Pop- Up Where Dreams go to die and nightmares come to life! This fanciful nightmare come to life, is a creepy fragment of a macabre world; where 20 classic horror movies all collide. From Elm Street to Silent Hill and from Killer Klowns to Zombie Land…this vibrant collusion of fun and fright will keep you entertained every inch of the way! Freddy, Jason, Leatherface and IT…will all be joining, promising to produce some of the most epic Halloween scenes and social moments ever! So get those cameras ready! This one of a kind Halloween pop-up will be a scream for all ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult.  
Cost: $10+

Lincoln Park

Replay Lincoln Park: Scooby Doo at the Haunted Arcade
Now through October 31

Scooby-Doo, where are you? We’ve extended Cartoon Cartoon through Halloween, with some spooky additions. Hop into the Mystery Machine and check out our newest photo-ops and cocktail menu, and stay tuned for new trivia dates, costume contests, and more events TBA. Don't miss your chance to experience the Haunted Arcade with Scooby and the gang. No cover, walk-ins welcome, 21+ only after 7pm.

Lincoln Square/Ravenswood

Kid-Friendly Haunted House at Brush Park Gym
October 29 @ 11am-1pm
Brush Park Gym will be hosting a kid-friendly haunted house along with trick-or-treating. Expect giveaways, prizes, and treats!

The Park After Dark at Chase Park
October 20-22 and October 27-29 @ 7pm and 9pm
The Park After Dark is a charity event to raise money for the Chase Park after school teen program. Every year, we transform the old theater into a brand-new haunted house, never repeating the same theme twice creating a truly unique experience. This year we a pleased to present: Outbreak, a zombie survival adventure.
Cost: $12

River North

Garden of Decay
October 13 - October 31 @ 6:00pm-11:30pm
Navy Pier invites you to embark on an all-new, immersive theater experience like no other. Delve into the mysteries of a once-renowned genetic plant laboratory, now transformed by grief into the Garden of Decay. In this captivating journey, guests will don headsets and be guided through each room by actors, immersing themselves in the gripping narrative of a grieving botanist fueled by an unrelenting desire for resurrection. The experience is meticulously crafted by local artists. Each artist infuses their rooms with unique elements of artistry, storytelling, and innovation, promising a night of unparalleled wonder and intrigue. 

After emerging from the Garden of Decay, visitors will find themselves immersed in the enchanting celebrations of the Garden of reCreation. Explore a world of interactive art, themed vendors offering unique treasures, tantalizing botanical cocktails, and late-night entertainment. Get ready to embark on a thrilling adventure with interactive activities including: tarot card readings to glimpse into your future, live poetry and automatic writing capturing the spirit of the season, the mesmerizing art of cigar rolling, entomology through bug pinning demonstrations, the artistry of taxidermy displays, live dance performances adding to the eerie ambiance, haunting tunes spun by DJs that will keep you grooving on the dance floor, letters to loved ones, a wishing tree, and passport experiences await you as well. On select nights, you can even get live tattoos or teeth gemming. Select times during the event are family-friendly, while the atmosphere transforms into an 18 and up experience as night falls after 7:15pm.
Cost: $42

Rogers Park

Dead on Damen
October 31 @ 6pm-11pm
Dead On Damen is excited to invite you to our 4th annual FREE Halloween Party. We will have hot cider, hot dogs, chili, chips, juice drinks and, of course, CANDY! Donations will be accepted For The ALS Foundation and Jordan Community School.


The 13th Floor Chicago
Now through November 5
Get ready for the most fun you've ever had getting scared at the world-famous 13th Floor Haunted House in Chicago!
In most buildings, the 13th floor doesn't exist--but here, in the heart of Chicago, it's terrifyingly real. The legendary 13th Floor has been praised by and featured on America Haunts, Travel Channel, MTV, Haunt World Magazine, and USA Today calls it "One of the best haunted attractions in the US." Purchase tickets early as Chicago's most horrifying haunted house is expected to sell out!
Cost: $19.99+ 

Old Joliet Haunted Prison
Now through November 4
A haunted house inside a real, abandoned prison! Get ready for the most fun you've ever had getting scared at The Old Joliet Haunted Prison in Joliet, IL! The madness from within the prison has spilled out into the yard where the queen of the damned rules over the most infamous and violent prisoners. This doomsday squad have launched an all-out assault on the living at an attempt to escape their eternal captivity. Journey through the chaos as the path winds through open air smoldering ruins and inside the prison’s machine shop, laundry room and other various industrial spaces. Escape from purgatory might be futile but it won't stop the prisoner’s from having a bloody good time.
Cost: $29.99+

Scream Scene
Now through November 4
Scream Scene is a seasonal haunted house held every October in Skokie. Each haunting season features new characters, sets and scenes making each new year more frightening than the last. Skokie Water Playground, abandoned for the season, becomes host to the most frightening experience in Skokie. With it's chainsaw maniacs and insane clown maze, Scream Scene has been terrifying visitors since 1997. Parental discretion advised: Not recommended for children under 10 years old! (Though, there is a "lights" on version on October 28 from 3pm-5pm for only $3.)
Cost: $13

Six Flags Great America Fright Fest
Now through October 31
We visit Great America every fall. It's the perfect time to go.The temperature is usually a little cooler, the lines are shorter, and the changing colors of all the leaves, really make it quite picturesque. Add to that all the fun Fall, Halloween decorations, and seasonal menu items, and it is an enjoyable day even for non-riders.The park has three different kids' areas for the less daring, and everyone enjoyed the live shows, including the new Monster Bash, an interactive Halloween party for tiny goblins. On Saturdays and Sundays, kids can get in costume too and join characters on a Trick or Treat Trail. At 5:45pm, The Uprising Parade: Nightly Call of the Dead begins. This is the cue for kids 13 and under to make their way to the park exit or dare to be scared.

Don't forget to check out our Fall Guide for more fun this season!